Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Louisiana State

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by cover2, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. cover2

    cover2 I've grown old
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    Starting to feel like the Little Engine That Could is working toward becoming a bona ride freight liner. The win over the top 10 ranked Coon @sses was a classic! Paraphrasing Mullen's requirement that the toughest team would come out on top and it certainly did. Lot of punching and counter punching in this one with LSU scoring a knock down on their first possession and us finally knocking them out on their last. In between was a lot of back and forth. Clearly both teams were tough, LSU that and big and talented in many areas to boot, but as has been a theme to me this season, our S & C program and the part it has played in player confidence was again a difference maker. We didn't fold when we would have on recent teams and have shown the ability to turn it on late in games. Yesterday was a true test of this mettle with the time the defense was required to spend on the field when the offense had periods of ineffectvity. This is also a fact IMO that adds to the pride felt, relates to the reliability and tenacity of many of our great Gator defenses of the past, and a good part of what is making our team fun to watch and rekindling what was a waning spirit among the fan base.

    If you looked at LSU objectively, there's a lot to admire about what Ed O has developed and put on the field. His OL is big, strong, and pretty well coached. The QB is a good fit and is effective when he has time to read the field. Lot of speed in his LB corps and his secondary pretty damn good. Ensminger and Aranda are two good coordinators as well. So what I'm saying is that we rose to the occasion and beat a pretty good team that gave us their best shot. This is the direction we have been looking for and that most of felt we were beginning to head toward, but weren't quite as confident that this game was one of the ones that was do-able on this schedule. It's nice to be surprised this way and it certainly whets our appetite for more. It'll be interesting to see if this team that is starting to resemble the Spurrier and Meyer led teams in outcomes and expectations (though it's still very early) will have the Vandy swoon with the Dawgs on the horizon. Making it even more interesting is UK's loss yesterday, cracking the door to a shot at the SEC East, but let's not get ahead of ourself. Keep the next step as the most important one. Now, as @oxrageous might say...let's discuss:

    *Starting with the D, I've got to give POTG shouts to Reese and Chauncey, though there were a lot of stars yesterday on that side of the ball. Each had 11 tackles I believe. Reese has a knack for finding the ball and probably the best position instincts among the LBs that we've had in a few cycles. That first LSU drive it looked like he was going to have a rough day with their RG wearing his @ss out on a couple of snaps, but he was money afterward and his leadership can't be undersold. And while on the topic of leadership, Chauncey is providing just that to our young and emerging secondary while making plays. His 11 stops from a DB is significant when considering what that means to not only stopping gains by the opponent's receivers, but also the support provided against their rushing attack.

    *Still on the D, Polite and Zuniga are giving us a couple of book ends that can effectively rush the passer and are getting better each week in run defense. They were a big part of the stat line for this group that recorded 11 tackles for loss that included 5 sacks and 3 turnovers. The interior got punched on a couple of drives, but obviously fought back pretty hard. These guys are showing an ability to fight back and play bigger than some of their light @sses might have been able to last year. The D coaches are doing a job with the entire unit that shouldn't be overlooked.

    *It is most notable that we forced Burrow into his first interception of the season (first two actually). The guy is a pretty good player and leader for them and we didn't let him beat us.

    *The offense and Franks obviously had some positives and negatives yesterday, struggling after LSU's first drive and score, then coming alive only to stagnate after blowing what looked like a sure TD on a bad interception to start the second half, then coming back to life to take the lead that was eventually extended by the pick six late. This group owes one to the D, but still did what they had to do for us to win. Franks made some nice throws, the corner route to the TE for example, that last year he couldn't make stood out. Chizik, love him or hate him, pointed out how much more comfortable he looks each week in the pocket which obviously has led to his improved effectiveness. No Pierce yesterday, but Perine and Scarlett collectively rushed for 150 (85 and 65 respectively) and each got some key first down runs. You had to love the little option twist Mullen used to help in this department and Franks and Toney had some nice runs as well.

    *The OL took another step forward IMO. Still some false starts and missed assignments, but gave up no sacks and did their part in allowing us to rush for close to 200. We still aren't elite on base blocking, but we are pretty good on the angles and G schemes. Hevesy is an obvious upgrade to what we've had since, well, Hevesy! It remains to be seen just how good this group will finish the season, but from where they have been, they're doing a pretty good impression of Lazurus right about now. Tip of the cap to these guys and their coach.

    *Receivers played against a pretty good secondary who provided tight coverage pretty consistently, but there were some good catches, Jefferson and Hammonds stand out, and this group shows they have bought into their part in blocking downfield.

    *Special teams continue to be very consistent if not spectacular at times. Coverage has been strong consistently and we have not had a drop off with our new punter and kicker. Young Raymond did his job of pinning the Tigers deep and flipping the field with a couple of boomers and McPherson's kick off after the penalty when we scored was pretty phenomenal. Even after the face mask penalty LSU still started at their 27, giving them a longer field than expected. This group's value is pretty evident and certainly makes us a more effective team in all three phases.

    *Mullen's ability to have us prepared for the weekly challenges and his game planning continues to impress. The fact that we have learned not to panic when we have break downs offensively and defensively is a testament of the belief that is being instilled in the players. It is clear they have bought into him and the coaching staff and what they seek to accomplish. Still more tests to come, but thus far Mullen may be exceeding the early expectations. If you weren't initially enthused with his selection, hopefully he is growing on you.

    *Probably the only negative about watching us yesterday was that I forgot to switch over to see the Noles blow a 20 point lead to Captain Coma and the Canes. I guess Willie and the tribe isn't back after the Christmas present from Petrino and the turnover chain is > than the turnover purse/backpack after all.

    *A deserved shout out to Vosean Joseph. Always plays hard even if technique and fundamentals have been lacking, but he seems to be getting it and is making more plays less gaffs from what I see. Played through several dings yesterday as well. Good to seethe improvements to go along with the toughness.

    *I know we got plenty of dings yesterday, but I don't recall any significant injuries. You have to think our level of fitness is playing a big part in this thus far.

    *Cant forget Timmy's induction into the ring of honor. Much deserved for a great Gator and pretty special human being. He's a guy that makes you proud of our team and university.

    *The Swamp looked electric on TV. Good to see us on the way back to being one of if not the toughest place to play in college football.

    Next up...Vandy. As mentioned earlier, they always seem to give us fits or benefit from us letting down a bit after preceding tough games. However you want to look at it, the game with them is important to keep the momentum going. Their HC is a pretty good defensive guy and they always seem to bring a good effort when they play us. They played Notre Dame close, so they have the ability to surprise us. It will be interesting to see our approach. Again it is the next step and hopefully we don't look beyond them. I know I'm repeating myself, but you have to like our direction. And those characterization so far of what Mullen's offense was going to be? Well, it looks like the guy is making it more about his personnel than a predetermined scheme. Certainly there's still room to grow and improve, but some early fears and preconceptions should be soothed somewhat. Kinda getting the feeling that the best is yet to come, in following seasons if not this one. As always, Go Gators and beat the Commdores!

    :chomp:
     
    #1 cover2, Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    • playzwtrux

      playzwtrux Wait,... what?

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      First - as always cover, excellent analysis that I look forward to reading weekly.

      A couple of things: the D looks like they are believing in the O, where they haven’t in many years. This, I think, is pushing them to play harder, and longer. They don’t have to be the only unit to score anymore in order to get a W. The O can come out and drive the ball, actually contributing toward the effort.

      Next, pardon any negativity this may appear to be, but when Toney was in the wildcat and the ball was hiked over his head, he ran out of bounds 4 yards behind the LOS, 1) why wasn’t this considered a “sack”, and 2) did he forget he was a QB and he could throw it away?
      With that said, I really like seeing the ball in his hands because he almost always exceeds my expectations.
       
      #2 playzwtrux, Oct 7, 2018
      Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
      • cover2

        cover2 I've grown old
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        P/S sorry I'm late getting this out, but had to rush to duty at the homecoming dance after the game and was late getting home afterward. I did get to learn things a 58 year old shouldn't have to like the "Stanky Leg" and what not. One thing that showed my age was that as one song began I actually thought the DJ was playing Hollywood Swinging by Kool and the Gang, a big deal from back in my dancing days. But alas my excitement was short lived as the song morphed into another unintelligible rap song. **Sigh**
         
        • DaddyGator

          DaddyGator The Pater Lacerta

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          Good stuff as always, Cover. The pregame celebrations could have been met with an anticlimactic loss, an awkward reminder to the faithful (and those recruits) how far the program has fallen, that the storied days were in the past. But Joseph’s bow to 2008 underscores that this team has its confidence (nay, shall I say swagger?) back. Mullen has these boys believing and that’s a big step to putting the Gator’s back in the conversation. Job One. Check. And the Swamp was rockin’ again! Damn near a miracle! Go Gators! Stomp the Dores!
           
          #4 DaddyGator, Oct 7, 2018
          Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
          • Gator by the Sea

            Gator by the Sea Well-Known Member
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            As usual, a great analysis and enjoyable read. Go Gators!
             
            • Nomadigator

              Nomadigator Simple Grain O’ Sugah Sand On The FL Beach O’ Life
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              First backup

              Or not....

              Magnificent piece, Clever Sir!

              I have officially moved a position from “hoping” we make a play to “expectation and wonder” wtf D or G dials up.
               
              #6 Nomadigator, Oct 7, 2018
              Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
              • deuce

                deuce Mentally Challenged
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                Good read....... I just can't shake this sense of impending Doom!

                Go Gators!
                 
                • Ancient Reptile

                  Ancient Reptile Senior Member

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                  Great, as always.
                   
                  • playzwtrux

                    playzwtrux Wait,... what?

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                    Also, not sure why Grantham played prevent on their last drive. I feel like 1 more rusher would have made a big difference and ended their drive much earlier.
                     
                    • alcoholica

                      alcoholica Well-Known Member

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                      @SaltGator what did you dislike about Cover's analysis?

                      Want to give some credit V. Joseph and J. Hammond. Joseph had 14 tackles (3.5 TFL) and 2 sacks. Hammond had 3 catches for 85 yrds.

                      M. Stephens pops up again with a TD catch and Stiner closes out another 4th down for the game.
                       
                      • gingerlover

                        gingerlover Junior Member
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                        Spot on as always. Glad you mentioned the kickoff after the pick six. Them not letting it go over their head for a touchback cost them valuable yards and set a tone on that last stand.
                         
                        • FireFoley

                          FireFoley Senior Member
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                          Great stuff C2, as always. Great win for the good guys, and I truly want to get on the Cousin Eddie bandwagon, but he just does things in game that truly make me scratch my head knowing that not even a Pop Warner coach would make those calls. Don;t get me wrong, Cousin Eddie called some beautiful plays yesterday. Yes I am saying it, he called some great plays. Scarlet made some of the best 3, 5 and 7 yard runs in a long time. It is not his or coaches fault that our line is still below average. To most the win is all that matters, but when you are in a tough game, why would you want to put your guys in a potentially bad spot, b/c those types of games come down to less than 5 plays. Like when Ogre chose to kick their first FG on 4th and inches. I am so glad he did not go for it, and that could have been a MO changer. Just like the 2nd offensive play of the 3rd Qu swung the MO to LSU for about 20 game minutes, simply b/c of the call, not necessarily the result (INT). They throw essentially a 50-50 ball to open the 3rd Qu. Great throw, great catch, but not an overly risky throw and even if the CB makes a great play so be it. But the next play call was atrocious. B/C you have to begin with the framework that Franks is a mental midget. Not bagging on Franks as many mental midgets have been good college QB's, but in that case you CAN'T put a guy like that in that type of decision making process, when the game does not dictate that. If you watched every other pass play call and where the ball was meant to go, they were all fairly safe, easy throws and reads. Perfect for Franks. But this particular play was meant to throw down the middle where you were in a part of the field where the middle could not be cleared out. There were other options on the play, but there was not even a check down and Franks makes up his mid before he leaves the huddle. The game was not on the line and there will be times you are going tho have to ask Franks to read and make a decision. But that was NOT the time nor the place. I know Cousin Eddie did not throw the ball, I know Cousin Eddie was not playing O-line there, but you have to know your player's weaknesses and limits. That INT was purely on the play call. Just like calling a QB power run on 3rd and 1. Terrible call, whether you make the 1st down or not. Franks is a willing runner on a scramble (yes he makes the 1st if he had dove forward on 2nd down, but again he is unaware of anything) . LSU took away the WR screens, so why not run the secondary off and send an RB out of the backfiled and isolate on a LB? Not once all day? Again I want to get on the Cousin Eddie bandwagon, but I always thought he was below average at game management and IMO he continues to make mistakes that are not necessary.

                          Yes I know we all wanted Stewart to fall down or run out of bounds or get tackled. but I can't blame the kid. Not many guys smart enough to fall down and end the game, but unfortunately that kept LSU alive. And I have no problem with the defense being in prevent on the last drive and giving up a long 4th down conversion. The problem I saw was too many guys flat footed and did not have their head on a swivel seeing if anyone was coming into their area. Again mostly positives from yesterday, but their are still times that certain calls are made at the most inopportune times, regardless of the play result.
                           
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                          • stephenPE

                            stephenPE Senior Member
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                            Even ox was off the chain about the delay........this from 8:08 this morning in the chat.
                            oxrageous: I wonder if cover2 is drunk in a gutter somewhere
                            I didnt tell him mature individuals like ourselves are smart enough to stay home out of gutters when an extra drink or two are on the menu.
                             
                            • stephenPE

                              stephenPE Senior Member
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                              The face palm was about as rare as me giving love to the dwags or noles. As for problems, did you have a problem with the outcome of this game when the pundits penciled in lsu for the win because they have more talent, better lines and a damned good QB? Just wondering about all these unresolved problems. My take is most here thought we were chckn sht before the season in talent and toughness and depth, Now we have this amazing chicken salad that is all the rave on the food channel and ESPN. I will take it. Coach DAN MULLEN has had to be creative in his play calling because he realizes this aint timmy and percy out there. He is dancing with the partners he came with. If it looks bad sometimes you may want to realize that. It is a process here and it is all I hoped for so far.
                               
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                              • Zambo

                                Zambo Poo Flinger
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                                Maybe because it was a running play and blockers were downfield, which would result in a penalty if he threw a forward pass.
                                 
                                • Shortcast

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                                  I wait all week for your Sunday morning breakdown. Coffee and Cover2 You sir have the best indepth analysis of any that I read.... and I read alot. Concise and humorous. ..thank you.
                                  Oh yeah... that was a hellavuh game. "Dial it up Dan" is ours now...thank you Jesus!
                                   
                                  • SeabeeGator

                                    SeabeeGator Well-Known Member
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                                    Great write up as always. I don’t disagree that the best appears to be yet to come but what areas of concern do you see developing that only recruiting can fix?
                                     
                                    • bayou gator

                                      bayou gator Ancient GSMB Veteran
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                                      Great analysis, Cover!

                                      I am happily eating a big plate of crow. This was a huge victory for the program. I did not expect us to win that game, but we somehow found a way. What impressed me the most was also what you mentioned, our Gators did not give up, even when it looked like they were derailed and lost at times, they did not give up. For me, Vosean Joseph was the epitome of this team yesterday. A little undersized, a little raw, a little lost at times, and very banged up... but playing his ass off the entire time! He was leaving it all on the field, and that is such an inspirational thing to see.

                                      Our boys were punched in the gut early, and had totally lost any momentum we had in the second half. To come back and answer with that touchdown late in the game was impressive. We have not seen a team with a will to win like that in a decade. It feels good to see us play with toughness and desire again, showing up prepared to lay it all on the line. These boys are growing up and becoming men right before our very eyes, and Mullen deserves all the credit. I know Cousin Eddie might not be the most flashy Xs and Os guy, and that his decisions might cost us some games at times, but he dialed it up perfectly yesterday when the game was on the line, and I couldn't be happier for him, the program, and the fans.

                                      I'm not losing perspective and saying we are ready to play for rings just yet. We've still got a ways to go. But that was the most riveting game at the Swamp in years, and I am looking forward to what's to come.
                                       
                                      • lizardbreath

                                        lizardbreath Well-Known Member

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                                        Right on the money. Incidentally, I too find the insulting nicknames and goofy misspellings of Coach Mullen's name increasingly tiresome.
                                         
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                                        • ltraz

                                          ltraz Well-Known Member

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                                          Appreciate it as always
                                           

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